Thursday, May 15, 2008

Try again or pass for now

Well, I'm really not sure what to do.

I joined a gym this week in the hopes that I could leave Kylie in the gym's kids room while I get a quick workout. We went for the first time on Tuesday and Kylie made it around 30 minutes before having a meltdown. Today, I worked out for 40 minutes before I was paged. When I ran to the kids room I learned that she had been crying the entire time even though I asked to be paged immediately if she started crying.

The kids room staff seems nice enough. However, English is these ladies second language and when I try to ask questions like, "Did she play at all?" "Did the other kids scare her?" "Can I bring her some of her toys from home?" "Did you play with her?" all I get is a smiling shrug that says, "I only understand about half of what you are saying and please take this screaming baby away".

Kylie starts off well. When we arrive, I sit with her and we play with some toys and she gets completely engaged and pretty much ignores me. Then I get up and leave her and she's fine. I don't know what happens to set her off.

I have until tomorrow to decide whether I should keep the gym membership or not. I've been told (hopefully) that I can get a full refund if I want to but I have to let them know tomorrow.

Karen and I are going to talk about it tonight. There is always the option of me working out at night and then trying again in a month or so during the day with Kylie. But like most people, I'm wiped at the end of the day and I just want to either scrapbook or cuddle with Karen on the couch.

A part of me says to keep trying that I've not given her enough time to properly adjust. But it breaks my heart to see Kylie's face all swollen and red and hear her gasp for breath because she's been crying for so long. And she seems much fussier and clings to me more for the rest of the day after she's been so upset at the gym.

So what do you think? Should I
A. try again tomorrow and then decide.
B. keep taking her no matter what because eventually she will get the hang of it.
C. keep the gym membership and try with Kylie again in 1-2 months.
D. cancel the membership and find another way to get some exercise.
Thanks for thinking about it.

And now, here are a few pictures:

Kylie, all proud of herself because she squirmed away from me before I could finish dressing her after a diaper change. Little stinker!


Anonymous said...

That's a tough one. Kids do take time to adjust, after being a PreK teacher for 2 years, I've gone through it many times. Are they the same ladies every time? Even if it is, I'm sure there are different kids in there, and that makes it hard on her, especially if she doesn't have a connection to the caregivers.

I walk at the park and do work out videos during Thaya's nap on the days I can't get out. I get my alone time in different ways. This is partially because I can't afford a gym membership and partially because I don't want to deal with the separation - Thaya is going through major separation anxiety right now. You could always see if they'll hold the membership and try again in a month (or 6 lol)

Kerry Lynn said...

hmmm. I think one of my major issues would be that you can't communicate with the caregivers. Even if she eventually became comfortable there it would really bother me that they couldn't talk to me about her.

I bet the gym would be willing to work something out with you if you did want to suspend it. Just let them know what the issue is.

I don't think I could bring myself to let her keep trying until she got the hang of it even though it's probably the emotionally healthy thing to do for her. It would just break my heart too much.

Do you have exercise on demand on your TV? I have a ton of different choices...not that I do them even though it's all I should do during the day.

Ethan Barry's Momma said...

That's a really hard decision. It probably is "just" a matter of separation anxiety since Kylie is used to basically being only with you all of the time, but it would be so heart wrenching to see her in such a state.

My concern is about the caregivers...That they aren't able to communicate with you sufficiently and didn't call you in a timely matter. If it were me, I would probably cancel the membership for now and perhaps try a different gym later.

Good luck. :)

Lynanne said...

Gosh, you ask a tough question and then post the cutest pictures yet. Seriously? That stroller picture with her little piggies sticking out and the Life is Good hat? Whoa! Too CUTE! I'd want to try it with my own lil guy but I don't think I could ever duplicate it.

Wait, what was your question again? Oh yeah...hmmm...that's a tough one. Does she react this way to other strangers or is it just at the gym? If you think it's just a stage, I'd keep trying. Give it one more day at least. Tomorrow may be the day when she scurries off to play without a glance over her shoulder and screams when she has to leave. Otherwise if something just doesn't feel right, trust your gut and wait for another couple months to try again. Good luck!

Stacey said...

Even with regular fulltime daycare where the caregivers and kids and schedules remain the same, it can take kids 2-3 weeks to adjust. Some kids cry most of the day for at least a week. It's tough but kids don't necessarily adjust easily and a gym is even tougher because it's a short time and it changes.

Don't you have a nanny? Could you leave her with the nanny while you workout?

Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy and Karen,
I've not posted in quite some time but I read your blog daily. Your Kylie is just so darn cute!!
My gut won't let me keep quiet on this one--but I admit, having been a victim of abuse as a child, that may bias my views somewhat. Especially when it comes to a helpless child.
As everyone stated, it MAY be just that she's so used to being with you and Karen that she needs some adjustment time. And she doesn't know the caregivers well. But that's my point. How well does the gym (or it's members) know the caregivers? Have they been screened, references and background checks?
The fact that they ignore your requests to be paged if Kylie cries may just be a language barrier (a problem in itself!) or it may be that they simply don't care! But my biggest red flag would be Kylie's level of discomfort. She seems an over all sunny baby. The fact that she is STILL upset and clingy for some time after a gym visit just wouldn't bode well with me.
Maybe you'd be overreacting, but better safe than sorry in my opinion anyway!
Best wishes whatever you decide! Hopefully you can have the best of BOTH worlds--a happy Kylie AND exercise! Lori

JRG said...

I stumbled upon your blog and love partner and I are looking at having children and I enjoying reading about other families like us!! Thanks for posting about your life!

Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy, I read your blog daily but haven't posted in some time. I live in Atlanta with my husband and son Henry, 8 months. I am a stay at home Mom also and can relate to your schedule quite a bit. I have a regular babysitter and too enjoy starbucks (or chick fil a ice cream cone!) during that time. :) Kylie is a year now but still so young. My main reservation would be the staff. I think with a regular daycare you can learn to trust people when you interact with them on a daily basis. I think it all boils down to one thing...YOUR instincts. You and Karen have the best judgment and take such excellent care of Kylie. She is so lucky to have you both for parents and you will make the best decision for her. My vote is to exercise with her (but again, I live in Atlanta and the weather is probably much more conducive to that here). In a perfect world you could walk with Kylie and then you both would get the fresh air and you would get the exercise. Love, Tamara

ajs4ever said...

Beautiful as always;)

Anonymous said...

hi there! i agree with what your other commenters said. just mirroring them. yes, if you trust the caregivers and the environment, then keep trying and she will learn that it's not going to change. these caregivers dont' sound trustworthy and they blatantly ignored your request. there is no way to know they will not ignore you in the future. i think you're right to trust your gut and not take her to them again. it might even be worthy of a formal complaint. if you keep trying, i would also second the recommendation of a different gym. good luck with that one! although you might get a good work out just running back and forth to check on her.:) she's becoming so lovely. the young woman she will one day be is starting to emerge in her face. just lovely. lisa O

Angele said...

Unrelated question: You have Pottery Barn Kids furniture, right? How do you like it? We want the trundle bed for Riley's bedroom when she transitions out of a crib. Just wondering how you found the quality of their furniture as one person has told me they weren't impressed. We have a few smaller things from them and like them, personally. Thanks!

Misti said...

Hi, Wendy! (And Karen)

Hmm. I am going to go against the tide here. I am firmly of the opinion that where it's possible, it's best not to leave a child to cope on her own until she's old enough to understand and confident enough not to spend the time crying.

Yes, babies will adapt. And yes, sometimes there just is no choice. But that isn't the case here.

I think it would be better to give up on the gym for now and find another way to get some exercise - - perhaps *with* Kylie! That sets an excellent example for her!

(And no, taking care of them and standing by them when they're wee little ones doesn't make them more dependent. In my experience it makes them far more confident and independent in the long run.

Anyway, how about popping Kylie into a sling or a stroller and taking a nice walk, to the park, to Starbucks, to the farmers' market... How about turning on a CD of your favorite music and dancing around the living room with Kylie? (or maybe an exercise DVD?)


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that it might benefit you both if you could exercise with her. Do you have good neighborhoods or trails where you could put her in a good jogging stroller and walk (or jog if that's more your speed) with her? This would allow you to get plenty of exercise, and it would let Kylie have some new experiences too without the trauma.

You might also try to find some other moms to walk/jog with. Having someone else to go with makes it all the more rewarding. Believe it or not, I found a walking buddy on craigslist; you may have similar success by putting up an ad for walking moms.

Oh! Then there's something called Mommy Bootcamp that seems to be taking off in our area. Have you looked into that? This involves great exercise with a group of moms and their kids led by a trainer.

Good luck! This is a difficult one, but I'm sure you'll find a great solution.